Kathryn Lopez

Nor does the general public in Louisiana. A survey by Public Policy Polling, a Democratic outfit, found that Jindal, who has an overall approval rating of 63 percent (vs. 31 percent disapproval), gets a 65-25 score when it comes to his handling of the spill. President Obama, by contrast, has an approval rating of 37 percent (vs. 57 percent disapproval). When it comes to the spill, the president's rating is 32-62.

CNN found similar results, which it took as "evidence that the public's view of Obama's leadership is following the same pattern that George W. Bush experienced after Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast in 2005."

So much for the problem-solving audacity of speechifying.

The leadership gap is not lost on Jindal. In an interview at the end of May, the governor explained that "lines of communication are great" between him and the White House but that talking only goes so far. "Now we need action."

The only real action the president seems to be achieving involves an energy tax. Moving back to his transformational political agenda, the president scattered a recent primetime speech with not-so-casual warnings about the associated costs of any spill cleanup.

Democrats, too, have inaction in mind: halting offshore drilling. Believe it or not, that same poll that found Louisianans unimpressed with Obama and his BP performance haven't dramatically soured on offshore drilling in their state. Seventy-seven percent of Louisianans polled still support it. We should pay attention to them.

Kathryn Lopez

Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, writes a weekly column of conservative political and social commentary for Newspaper Enterprise Association.